Tomatoes. Choose deeply colored, firm with-with-a-little-give, ripe tomatoes for maximum flavor because this recipe centers around the tomatoes.  We want ripe for flavor but not too ripe or they will get mushy and fall apart.  Also, make sure they smell like a tomato – if they don’t smell then they will taste like cardboard.  You can use plum tomatoes, but I prefer Roma tomatoes because they have fewer seeds to scoop out.
Douglas, I was just wondering about using the iron skillet or comal and the tomatoes. I tried a different recipe the other day and used my iron skillet to toast the ancho chilies, tomatoes and serrano peppers it called for. After blending all the ingredients, I used the same skillet to heat and cook the finished sauce. I only thought about it after the fact and wondered if the acidic sauce changed in flavor by using the iron skillet. I am sure our grandmothers used their iron for everything and never worried about the acid in them, so I am sure this question is moot, but I still want to know. I am not a very good cook, even though I try, and last weeks sauce did not turn out very tasty. I am going to give this one a try and hope it comes out better. Thank you for posting this.
When I googled pico de gallo before writing this post, the first thing that popped up was actually a question — just what is pico de gallo?  Translation: in Spanish, it literally means “beak of the rooster.”  I’ve heard all sorts of stories over the years about why this is.  Some say that the bright colors of the salsa resemble a rooster, others say that the diced salsa resembles bird food, others say that “pico” is referring to the word “picante” which means spicy, and on and on.  Lots of theories.  ;)

Cinco de Mayo is this Thursday. You haven’t even prepared for the party you’re attending. You’re supposed to make that thing you said you would. What was it, oh yeah, salsa. Rachel was counting on you. You promised. You scour the internet for a recipe. This one on D.R. Horton’s blog pops up. You think, “How could I mess this up?” It gets made. It’s delicious. You arrive at the party, salsa in hand. You realize you brought the party. Everyone loves it. You’re humbled. You reward yourself with a margarita. Okay, maybe two margaritas.


@Carl. My wife is Mexican and I’ve traveled there many times; particularly the state of Michoacán where she’s from. In Mexico, the sauce that you make is called a “Salsa Cruda” (Raw Sauce). It is perfectly fine to make it without frying/simmering since it’s just one of the MANY ways to make a sauce in the Mexican kitchen. I must say that adding cumin to a sauce is more typical of Tex Mex than the authentic Mexican style sauce. Also, lime is only added to something such as pico de gallo. Salsa verde is another sauce that made by cooking tomatillos, jalapeños and a couple garlic cloves in slightly boiling water for about 10 min. Once the tomatillos are cooked, you add them with a little bit of the cooking water, the chilies, garlic, a piece of white onion, cilantro and salt to a food processor. This is carefully processed due to the hot liquid. Tomatillos can be pretty acidic so a pinch of sugar can be added to counter that. I’ve been in a ranch in Michoacán where they cooked a goat over a wood fire. I saw them make the “birria” (typical Mexican sauce for roasted meats) over the same wood fire. It picked up the smoke taste and I’ll tell you, it was the best BBQ goat that I EVER had!
Hi Mary Ann 🙂 We love cilantro, so I’ve never made this salsa without it. Most salsas actually have some cilantro in it, but if you hate the taste, you could substitute a bit of fresh parsley, or eliminate the cilantro altogether. I can’t guarantee the taste though, since my recipe uses cilantro as a big ingredient. The scoops method you mentioned sounds yummy!
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